A couple of months ago we got a sneak peak at the new Facebook pages designs and today Facebook have started rolling this update live for all users. You don't automatically have your page updated but you do have the choice to update and there are a huge amount of new improvements. Some of the improvements are obvious and should have been in place long before now but it's great to see this vastly important part of Facebook improving. This is a huge step for Facebook and they have to be applauded for not forcing these changes on users and giving them time to choose to upgrade or not and you can imagine people panicking all over the world now as their page design changes...
Latest photos - one of the significant new features of the design is the Latest Photos options which is displayed along the top. This shows clearly the latest photos you've uploaded to the page and is a much nicer way than showing photos previously, which would often get lost in the sidebar and be confined to albums.
Featured Page Owners
Previously there was no way of identifying who was behind a page other than through sharing contact information in the info tab for example. Facebook have now changes this with the option to set up featured page owners that appear as profiles on the right hand side of the page. This might be a useful feature for smaller businesses that are happy to share their personal profiles. This can be selected on the feature section on the edit page
As we previously highlighted when new pages sneaked out (link to old post), the traditional tab system that we're used to on pages has disappeared and you now have links down the side to navigate to the different tabs on the page. The one benefit of this is that pages now reflect profiles more closely, but I wonder how this will affect traffic to different tabs, as these no longer stand out as much. Smart page owners will also make the most of the fact that these display logos, which you should use to full effect
Control Your Posts
The old options of viewing wall posts such as 'posts by page' or 'posts by everyone' is still available, but now Facebook have introduced a new feature to show the most interesting posts. This will be very useful for a lot of page owners, as sometimes your most useful or interesting content would get lost in the stream but now you have more control over the longer-lasting content that you want to share.
Use Pages Like Profiles
This is probably one of the most interesting changes to the upgraded pages - that you get to use Facebook through your page as opposed to your profile. What this means is that the newstream you see when you log in relates to the content on your wall. And particularly useful is that you can get notifications for the page, in the profile section so you'll be able to see new content more easily. Another function of this is that Facebook have allowed you to comment on other pages, as the page itself. This is absolutely huge and has opened the dialogue and personality of a page massively. It means you're no longer confined to the community on your own page, but can reach out to other groups. This previously wasn't possible as you could only comment on pages as a 'profile' and to use this as a business would have been against the terms and conditions.
We just wrote about a new service that offered email notifications for Facebook pages, and it seems like Facebook themselves have spotted this opportunity. You now get the option to customise your settings and email notifications. The screen below shows that you have the option to opt in to email notifications when someone comments, though this is currently preset to the account used to set up the page.
New tab width?
This will be a frustrating one for page owners! The official page guide states that the tab size is still 520, as it was before, but the screengrab below shows that these tabs are being cut off at 493. This is only a very small change and let's hope it's a glitch as opposed to a new addition. But those wider ads along the side suggest it could be here to stay! This clever screenshot below (courtesty of our designer Sarah Kavanagh!) uses page inspector to show you the layout, and shows the standard tab below 520 :
This is a very welcome feature by Facebook and shows that they're really considering page owners here. In the 'edit' section of a page they've introduced what they're calling a moderation blacklist. This gives page owners the option to select words whereby, if they're used in a post, they will be automatically marked as spam (therefore not viewable on the wall). You'd have to hope this wouldn't be abused by businesses I.e. marking competitor names as blacklist keywords, but would be confined to the use of swearwords etc.. This applies both to posts on the page, and comments on posts by the page owner.
How To Upgrade
If you are not seeing the upgrades on your pages yet you can head over here and start updating your pages. I would say to be cautious though because this is going to move all the stuff that you have on there already so make sure that you are certain and possibly try it with a smaller page or a dummy page first. Thats to Jessica in the comments for this tip :)